Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

History of the Sweep - Stanley Cup Finals

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Last night was not just the night that the New Jersey Devils staved off elimination from the Stanley Cup Finals – keeping the Los Angeles Kings from coronating a champion on home ice. 

The New Jersey Devils kept some lengthy NHL droughts on the clock, adding at least another season before an NHL team can overtake what a predecessor has done, and become the last team to do it. 
The Edmonton Oilers sacred record set in 1988 with a 16-2 record stands firm, as the best the Kings can do now is 16-3, still not a bad record and good enough for second for fastest championship win in the NHL.  It also prevented a sweep in the Stanley Cup finals – something that has not occured since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings swept the Washington Capitals.  Heres a look at the history of the four game sweep since the NHL went to a seven game championship series in 1939.

There have been 74 Stanley Cup Final matchups since the NHL switched to the seven game format (counting this years matchup, and not the lockout season).  Of those matchups, 20 have been completed in four games.  Thats 2.666% of the series.  Doesn’t happen all that often, except when they come in bunches. 

On six occacsions, the Stanley Cup Champion has swept their opponent in back to back seasons.  Twice as the final round ended in four games three times in a row.  And once, in the 1990s, did the Cup champion win by sweep four times in a row. 

Teams with Stanley Cup sweeps are as follows, the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche have each won one Stanley Cup by sweeping their opponent. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders can say they have swept a finals series twice. 

The Detroit Red Wings have done it four times, and the Montreal Canadiens have five Stanley Cup sweeps to their name. 

To add to the mystique, the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New York Islanders are the only teams with back to back sweeps in back to back years. 

While the sweep in the Stanley Cup finals has only happened 20 times in the history of the seven game series, a four game victory has happened more than a game five winner (17), a game six winner (19) and the Stanley Cup Finals have gone to seven games only 16 times in 74 years.

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Tags: Finals Los Angeles Kings Montreal Canadiens New Jersey Devils NHL Stanley Cup Sweep

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